What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, such as the keyway in a lock or a hole for a coin in a vending machine. A slot is also a position in a schedule or program where an activity can take place.

The Slot receiver is a wide receiver that lines up near the line of scrimmage. Typically shorter and smaller than outside wide receivers, the Slot receiver must have speedy hands to block nickelbacks, safeties, and outside linebackers. He also must excel in running precise routes, as he is often called into pre-snap motion by the quarterback for running plays that require him to catch the ball.

When a player inserts cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode, a credit meter displays the amount of money or credits the machine has available for play. Depending on the game’s theme, this may be a simple seven-segment display or a more elaborate graphic that fits the machine’s overall design and user interface.

A symbol on top of a slot machine lights up to alert the operator that change is needed, hand pay is requested or there is a problem with the machine. The symbols on a slot machine vary by game but usually include classics like fruits and stylized lucky sevens. Almost all slots have a theme and bonus features that align with the theme. Some have multiple reels and multiple paylines, while others only have one reel and a single fixed number of paylines.